Preliminary development of a collagen-PLA composite for ACL reconstruction

Michael Dunn, Lisa D. Bellincampi, Alfred J. Tria, Joseph P. Zawadsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Scopus citations


Our laboratory is developing resorbable composite implants for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of the knee. Composites were fabricated by embedding parallel collagen fibers within a poly (lactic acid) (PLA) or collagen matrix. The mechanical properties, resorption rates, and subcutaneous tissue reactions were determined for both types of composites. The tensile strength and modulus of collagen-PLA composites were twice that of collagen-collagen composites. Subcutaneous fibrous tissue ingrowth was improved and implant resorption was slightly delayed in the collagen-PLA composites. ACL reconstruction surgeries were performed in rabbits using collagen-PLA composite implants. After 4 weeks, neoligament tissue was observed in seven of eight implants; however, four neoligaments had ruptured either in the midsubstance (n = 2) or at the bone tunnel interface (n = 2). These results and our previous work suggest that resorbable polymeric composite scaffolds are potentially useful for ACL reconstruction if the implants can be protected from excessive mechanical loading during formation of host neoligament tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1423-1428
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Polymer Science
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 1997


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Biomaterial
  • Collagen fibers
  • Composite
  • Poly (lactic acid)
  • Scaffolds
  • Tissue engineering

Cite this

Dunn, M., Bellincampi, L. D., Tria, A. J., & Zawadsky, J. P. (1997). Preliminary development of a collagen-PLA composite for ACL reconstruction. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 63(11), 1423-1428.